Image source: Instagram @bychefchloe
From beauty, to social media and new eateries, Veganism is a market that has been booming of late. According to The Telegraph, the number of vegans has risen by 360% in the last 10 years. The number of Vegan google searches have risen 32% in the last year. Veganism is most popular amongst millennials. In the US, 36% of US consumers prefer milk alternatives The appeal for vegan products include avoiding animal products, and pursing ethical and environmental choices. Another reason for people seeking to become vegan is to eat a healthier diet.
What is interesting however, is that 23% of people associate the word vegan with animal welfare, whereas 32% regarded the term with being healthy. 12% concerned being vegan with weight loss and 8% believed the word to correlate with social responsibility.
The vegan diet is gaining a lot of attention on social media. According to Food Navigator USA, research analysis shows that vegan and vegetarian related content were mentioned 4.3 million times in 90 days, compared with Coca-Cola which came in at 4.1 million within the same time frame.
As more consumers turn to a vegan lifestyle, Women’s Health noted some negative implications. The publication argued that research suggests along with shredding pounds, slashing cancer risk, and boosting life expectancy, a lack of meat could come with less-known side effects including panic attacks, OCD and depression.
One patient in a study was detailed to have developed a severe anxiety disorder in which her energy flatlined and she could no longer get out of bed in the morning. Her doctor wished to prescribe her medicine but she refused after becoming increasingly concerned about what she put in her body. Instead, he prescribed her an organic grass fed steak. After 6 weeks of adding animal protein back into her diet, her energy rebounded and her panic attacks dropped by 75 percent.
In the book ‘The Vegetarian Myth’, author Lierre Keith details that many vegetarians suffer from terrible depression and anxiety. They believe they are eating a beautiful and righteous diet but do not recognise that her is a potential dark side.
Whilst meat has definitely been criticised for ill-health complications, it would appear going meat-free also can have negative side-effects. With the rise of Vegan diets due to social media, an overload of messaging has occurred saying what is and isn’t healthy.
With conflicting conversations from brands, it is important for consumers to remember that they are all individual. What is healthy for one person, will differ from another. Whilst social media has many positive benefits, it can come with some negative implications. Consumers can often feel overwhelmed and anxious that they are not following the latest trend. The reality is, social media is not real. It is an online world of everybody’s best moments. We will never know how many pictures were taken until we get to that best selfie or food pic.
Araminta Marketing recognises the pressures social media can put consumers under. This is why we work with our brands consciously to ensure that our messaging and marketing is responsible. Selling great products is amazing, but the health and welfare of consumers is much more important.